Obituaries

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Sr. Loretta McIlvenna

Educator

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Loretta (Marie Simeon) McIlvenna, 94, died June 4 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in South Dakota, she made her first religious profession in 1948 and her perpetual profession in 1951. She was a teacher and principal, a religious education consultant, manager at the Dominican motherhouse and a volunteer parish minister in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Loretta taught at St. Cajetan (1956-1959), St. Thomas More (1965-1971) and Visitation (1976-1984), where she was also principal.

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Deacon J. Michael Nugent

Class of 1983

Deacon Joseph Michael “Mike” Nugent, 90, died May 19. He served at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Streamwood.

Born in Chicago and raised on the South Side, he moved to the North Side, where he met his wife, Elsie. He graduated from Lane Tech High School and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

He was a resident of Streamwood for 40 years, and he served in the volunteer fire department for 10 years. He was a dedicated employee of AT&T for 33 years. Upon retirement he worked part time at the Countryside Funeral Home for five years as a hearse and limousine driver.

He and Elsie moved to Port Orange, Florida, to get away from the cold, and they lived in Florida year round for 13 years before returning to Schaumburg to be near children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife and his children Deborah Campbell, Steven, Catherine Crowell, Victoria Rundquist, Joseph, Patricia Vacura and Julie Mayer; 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; and his brother, George Chiaro.

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Sr. Marie Charlotte Schneider

Educator

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Marie Charlotte Schneider, 78, died May 10 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Peoria, Sister Marie Charlotte made her first religious profession in 1963 and her perpetual profession in 1968. She taught for 46 years and served as a family care partner for three years. Sister Marie Charlotte was regarded as a “phenomenal” first-grade teacher and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics from the state of Illinois in 1996.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Marie Charlotte taught at Visitation (1964-1969); St. Thomas More (1969-1973); St. Louis de Montfort, Oak Lawn (1973-1974); St. Martin de Porres, Waukegan (2004-2005); and St. Edmund, Oak Park (2005-2011).

She is survived by a sister, Cleo Toohill, and a brother, Marvin Schneider.

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Sr. Alma Marie Messing

Educator

Adrian Dominican Sister Alma Marie Messing, 94, died May 20 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Michigan, she was in the 76th year of her religious life.

Sister Alma Marie ministered in education in Florida, Michigan, Illinois and the Bahamas. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette (1967-1968); Our Lady Gate of Heaven (1978-1979); and St. Ailbe (1979-1983).

She was a computer teacher and manager (1983-1991) and program assistant (1991-2001) at the Museum of Science and Industry.

She became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2018.

She is survived by her brother, Donald J. Messing.

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Sr. Arlene Seckel

Educator

Adrian Dominican Sister Arlene (Robert Anthony) Seckel, 83, died May 23 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Detroit, she was in the 65th year of her religious life.

She served in education and pastoral ministry in Michigan, Illinois, North Dakota and Arizona, and was a leader of her congregation.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Mary Mount Carmel.

She moved to the Dominican Life Center in 2017.

Sister Arlene is survived by her sister, Kathleen Hayward, and brother, Donald Seckel.

Sr. Angela Donovan

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Sr. Angela Donovan

Educator

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Angela Donovan, 91, died May 23 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

A Chicago native, she made her first religious profession in 1950 and her perpetual profession in 1953.

She was an educator, chaplain and convent prioress who served in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana and Arizona.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Angela taught at Queen of Peace, Burbank (1968-1972), and Trinity High School, River Forest (1973-1976). She served as prioress of Trinity Convent, River Forest (1998-2002), and of Divine Providence Convent, Des Plaines (2002-2004), before serving as a tutor at the Learning Center in Lawndale (2005-2006).

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Sr. Nancy Finn

Educator

Religious of the Sacred Heart Nancy Finn, 87, died April 12 in Atherton, California.

Born in Chicago, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart after graduating from Barat College in Lake Forest in 1956. She made first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965.

Sister Nancy’s early years in the society were devoted to teaching at Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago, the Academy and Hardey Prep, and at Convent of the Sacred Heart, Clifton, in Cincinnati. She was the head of school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago (1969-1975).

Sister Nancy spent 19 years at different times during the 1960s through the 1980s at Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest, where she served as dean of students, director of the community service program, taught photography, and for a time served as a house parent living with the boarders.

Sister Nancy studied at the Art Institute in Chicago, where, in 1990, she earned a bachelor’s of fine art in drawing and painting. During the 1990s, Sister Nancy worked at the Art Institute of Chicago photographing the textile collection. Many of her photographs are featured in their books.

In 1999, Sister Nancy was named the area director of her community in Chicago. She was a member of the Kenmore Community in Chicago until 2020.

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Sr. Bernadette Ries

Educator

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Bernadette Ries, 82, died April 20 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Montana, she was a member of the Dominican Sisters of Speyer, Germany, at Kettle Falls, Washington, which became the Dominicans of Spokane in 1986 and merged with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa in 1995. Sister Bernadette made her first profession in 1957 and her perpetual profession in 1961.

She ministered in health care, congregational leadership and administration, and family support.

She served in Washington, Illinois and Minnesota.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Bernadette ministered as a chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood (1997-1999), and a spiritual care counselor at Hazelden, Chicago (1999-2000).

She is survived by three sisters, Marian Lightner, Emma Jean Freeman and Veronica Franey; and a brother, John Ries.

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Sr. Valery Heffner

Educator, administrator

Mercy Sister Valery Heffner, 93, died April 25.

Born in Milwaukee, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in Chicago in 1945.

For nearly 20 years, Sister Valery taught at schools in Chicago, Skokie, Evergreen Park, Dundee, Park Ridge, and Aurora, Illinois; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Pleasant and Burlington, Iowa.

She also served with the Latin American Committee and as director of Volunteers for Misericordia North, both in Chicago. In 1981, she began a housing internship and went on to serve for four years at the Chicago Housing Authority and then for Southwest Development Corp. and Mercy Properties, all in Chicago.

For several years, Sister Valery served in pastoral care at Oak Park Hospital and Mercy Rehab in Chicago.

Beginning in 1998, Sister Valery served in several volunteer roles, including prison ministry as a Spanish translator.

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Sr. Marie Fitzpatrick

Educator

BVM Sister Marie C. (Jane Frances) Fitzpatrick, 95, died May 1 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Born in Chicago, she entered the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1945 from St. Charles Parish. She professed first vows in 1947 and final vows in 1952.

She was principal at St. Charles (1963-1966).

Sister Marie also was an elementary teacher and principal in Iowa, New York and South Dakota. She was a religious education director in Denver and parish minister and psychotherapist in Aurora, Colorado.

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